really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
110,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. head gasket replacement (3 reports)
2002 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 102014

Outback Limited 2.5L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


After talking to our mechanic, an ex-service manager for Subaru, this has been a known problem by the dealers and the corporate idiots at Subaru. Yet they fail to inform customers of this. I guess I would have really not expected them to either. The cost to me is $2300-2500.00 plus the cost of a rental car and the inconvenience. Not to mention the fact that this probably will happen again. I sure would like to know who to contact at a government agency for this. Subaru should be raked over the coals for this costly of a problem to repair and I hope they get what's coming to them.

If I had known this much earlier I wouldn't have bought the 2005 Subaru we also have. I've now had 2 Subaru ex-mechanics/service managers tell me to look forward to another big bill for that vehicle as well. This is total BS. I can only hope that this website will help future buyers look elsewhere when they are thinking of buying a Subaru. For me I'm done with Subaru and will never buy another one of their vehicles. Anybody want to buy a 2005 outback with 63K miles on it?

- dlmvegas, Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #2

Dec 032010

Outback 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I bought Subaru based on Consumer Reports and word of mouth. Only to find I had a bad head gasket at 50K (3yrs ago), which was covered under warranty, but not comforting nonetheless. No, after another 50K+ the head gasket needs replacing again? A quick check with CR shows the 2002 and '03 4cyls have made a bad reputation for themselves for this and other engine issues.

- Steve W., Castle Rock, CO, US

problem #1

Dec 262006

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Another Subaru Outback head gasket failure. This is the most I have ever spent repairing a vehicle. This seems to be a major problem with Subarus.

- bonehead, Hooksett, NH, US

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